The Town of Nassau (New York, not Bahamas) has won a significant and rather timely appellate court decision in support of Home Rule. This case involved an industrial use (mining) and the right of a town to exercise its local land use ordinances. Any of that sound familiar ?
As in other states, and as the trial courts ruled for Dryden, Middlefield and Binghamton, the judges held for Home Rule – local land use laws control . . . local land uses. What a concept. Nan Stolzenburg was the town’s expert witness on land planning, and sent a copy of the ruling, here: Town of Nassau Home Rule Decision. Way to go Nan. Way to go Nassau.
Read the ruling, go see Promised Land, then take control of your town board next year. . .
“Bob Gardinier at the Times Union gets the story:
Ruling supports Town of Nassau in mining proposal
Town has been seeking “ultimate authority” over permit decision
By Bob Gardinier
Published 7:37 pm, Thursday, December 27, 2012
NASSAU — The town on Thursday won a round in a nearly 10-year legal battle with Troy Sand and Gravel over a hard rock mining proposal for 89 acres on a hilltop near Pikes Pond.
The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court reversed an injunction imposed on the town by a Supreme Court judge in February that barred it from hiring a consultant to review the company’s 2007 mining permit issued under the state Environmental Quality Review Act. The court also reversed a lower court ruling preventing the town from billing the mining company for the services of an expert, which is common practice in such reviews.
“The SEQRA findings did not bind the town to issue the requested special use permit or preclude it from employing the procedures — and considering the standards — in its own local zoning regulations, including the environmental and neighborhood impacts of the project,” the appellate justices wrote in their unanimous decision. It went on to say Nassau is entitled to independently review Troy Sand and Gravel’s application for the special-use permit, including consideration of the “health, safety, welfare, comfort and convenience of the public,” both in general and in the immediate neighborhood, as well as the environmental impact.
Town Supervisor David Fleming called it a vindication. “We have stated from the beginning that the town should have the ultimate authority,” Fleming said.
The ongoing legal fight between some town officials, residents and the Sand Lake-based mining company has now eclipsed the epic eight-year battle between some of the same residents and Lane Construction of Connecticut, which wanted to mine hard rock from Snake Mountain in the village of East Nassau. The state’s highest court closed the door on the mining company’s request in October 2000, saying it would spoil the view-shed.”